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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Missing deadline, Pairin goes for another year delay on full illegal immigrant report

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan has vowed afresh to complete a full report on the state’s illegal immigrant problem by this year, after the technical committee missed its own deadline last year.

Pairin, who chairs the technical committee, was tasked with compiling feedback, suggestions and proposing a solution.

“We will get the final report done as soon as possible ― this year for sure. Of course I want it done quickly too, so people will stop asking me when it will completed,” he told reporters after chairing the state level Kaamatan or harvest festival celebration meeting here today.

However, he did not indicate how soon the report can be wrapped up.

He said he had previously submitted a draft report in the third quarter of 2015, but the final report, containing measures which were already implemented, was still under progress.

Pairin was appointed as the head of the technical working committee committee early last year following the release of a report from the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the state’s long standing undocumented migrant issue in December 2014.

He is expected to submit the report to a permanent committee, chaired by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

He had previously said the report will be ready before the end of 2015 but later said that several adjustments needs to be made to update the current scenario.

The permanent committee will then study the recommendations and proposals submitted by the working committee and bring them to the Cabinet, and to monitor the implementation of the Cabinet’s decision.

Opposition parties and civil groups have criticised the government for the lack of concrete action since the RCI report was released and have called for the panel report to be expedited and made public.

Remarking on current global and domestic tensions, Pairin announced this year’s Kaamatan festival theme is “peace and friendship”.

“We chose it to concentrate on uniting the people building bridges between all members of the community. We wanted the celebration to reflect our good intentions and bring people closer together and appreciate that our multicultural society is our strength,” he said.

The state level launching will be held in the interior district of Tenom on May 1, 2015 and will feature celebrations in all districts before culminating in a two day festive affair at the Hongkod Koisaan Kadazandusun Cultural Association building in Penampang, on May 30 and 31.

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